No water at Irish college

A west Donegal Irish language school with 175 pupils was left without water yesterday with staff insisting they didn’t know of planned council piping works.

A west Donegal Irish language school with 175 pupils was left without water yesterday with staff insisting they didn’t know of planned council piping works.

More than 200 people, including 175 students had to scoop water into barrels before 8 a.m. to facilitate showers and toilets and to cook.

The students, mainly from Northern Ireland, arrived at Colaiste Machaire Rabhartaigh, near Gortahork, on Friday.

A notice was run on local radio at the same time that the water would be cut off on Monday for work to start on new pipes.

But because college staff were busy welcoming the new students the local radio notice went unnoticed.

Yesterday evening, a spokesperson for the school declined to comment on the matter only to say the situation had been resolved.

Earlier yesterday, Pauline Ni Dhonnchadh, manager of the college which uses a national school and a community centre, said both were without water. In addition, 20 houses used by the students were also left dry.

She said: “The least we would have expected was a letter to the college explaining what was planned but we received nothing.

“The first we heard of a notice on local Raidio na Gaeltachta in Donegal was on Sunday night.

“So first thing we started filling three giant blue barrels at the centre and six smaller barrels at the school early this morning.

“We just about got enough in before the water stopped for the day. They promised it would be only for one day. If it goes on any longer we’ll have to go into the sea to get water for the cisterns for washing and toilet use.”

Ms Ni Dhonnchadh said it was acknowledged the water system in the area needed replacing but the council said they would be able to place new pipes at the same time as residents could continue to use the old pipes.

She added: “Their timing is crazy. They have more than six months to do it but they had to wait until we have students here for the Summer.”

She said council sources explained that the work was contracted out and officials weren’t aware what stage the scheme had reached.

There was no response from Donegal Co. Council at the time of press.